Five | Six Textiles began with a conversation. In 2014, Emma Wingfield, an art researcher, was traveling through Côte d’Ivoire studying the development of contemporary craftsmanship. During a meeting with the weavers of Waraniéné, they expressed an interest in working with someone on product development who could bring their textiles to an international audience. At a time when demand for their work was diminishing and the industry of weaving itself on the verge of becoming an undesirable career path due to increased demand for mass-produced imitation cloth, Waraniéné wanted to grow interest in their business beyond the borders of their community.
Upon returning to the states, Emma enlisted the help of Laine Henry, a designer, and together in 2016, the two of them founded Five | Six Textiles in partnership with 15 master weavers. Five | Six has grown in tandem with the weavers of Waraniéné ever since. We add to our group of master weavers, tailors, and dyers every year.
Five | Six transports impeccably handwoven textiles from this remote region into contemporary homes around the world. We are privileged to work with this small collective that values handmade goods. We are committed to supporting and studying the rich traditions of West African weaving and dying and honor the artists who are committed to making this craft their profession.
Our mission is to make exceptional textiles that preserve a rare weaving culture while simultaneously benefiting their community. We are dedicated to building a sustainable business that facilitates a dialogue between the local artisans and the global community. As an artisan-to-consumer brand, we spend time developing our model with Waraniéné rather than for Waraniéné. We pay fair wages that we define with our weavers based on the current sell rate of textiles locally and skill level. We invest an additional percentage of our annual net profits back into the community for supplies, health, education, and business development programs decided in conjunction with community leaders.
We hope Five | Six will help foster a world of responsible consumers who cherish a real understanding of how the things they buy are made and what that represents. Each Five | Six Textile takes anywhere from 1-5 days to weave, meaning each piece is mindfully crafted and requires intentionality in decision making. Each impeccable piece is designed to enrich the space it inhabits, highlighting craftsmanship and sustainability.
CO-FOUNDER, HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND MARKETING
Emma runs Five | Six Textiles out of their Venice, CA studio. She has a Masters degree in West African History of Art and Archaeology from University College London and worked previously with museums and galleries in London and New York City. Fascinated by the economic development of the art market and its effects on local and global communities, Emma is dedicated to building sustainable businesses that bridge art and commerce.
CO-FOUNDER, HEAD OF DESIGN
Laine has a deeply rooted passion for design; from her BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia to her 10+ year career as a fashion designer in New York City. She’s designed the lines for several internationally known brands and pursued her own creative exploration in graphic design, typography, and user experience design in her spare time. Her creative motivation has always been to perfect the delicate balance between art and commerce.
COMMUNITY OPERATIONS IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE